NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Convenience retailers looking for ways to implement mobile initiatives, managed networks or supply-chain efficiencies will find an abundance of supplier developments and IT advice as the 2012 NACStech conference gets underway today through Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.
Expected to draw several hundred retailers and c-store industry suppliers, the event will reflect both the evolving demands for store-level technology as well as the advances made in connectivity and device capability.
One of the more recent trends has been with mobile payment. Earlier this spring, CSP Daily News reported that Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms had begun a mobile payment program (see Related Content below), while just last week, news emerged that Salt Lake City-based Maverik Inc. was in a test with Isis--a mobile commerce joint venture created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless--to do the same.
With the Isis launch, hundreds of merchant locations in both Austin and Salt Lake City will accept contactless payments. "[The] announcement signals the mobile-commerce experience has arrived," said Jim Stapleton, chief sales officer for Isis, New York. "A strong merchant base in Austin and Salt Lake City will make the Isis mobile wallet real for consumers as they choose to use their mobile wallet at many of their favorite merchant locations to pay and redeem offers."
"With increasing news from Isis, PayPal and Google Wallet, retailers continue to be eager to adopt mobile technologies that allow them to enhance the effectiveness of their loyalty and marketing programs," said a spokesperson from Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Greensboro, N.C.
Other trends Gilbarco officials suggest:
Drew MizeAlong the lines of foodservice, Drew Mize, COO of The Pinnacle Corp., Arlington, Texas, said foodservice management is growing and producing more gross profit dollars, "but it's hard to put that to the bottom line with infrastructure and operations cost, and requires tight control on food inventories or you end up throwing out a good portion of the inventory."
For technology, Mize sees a couple of things: